Instagram changed, but for better or worse?
by Jenelle Ylanan
As the use of social media continues to increase, creators seem to be more interested in finding ways to switch things up for their users. We get notifications to update to the latest version of the app or sometimes find ourselves automatically scrolling through a new feed. Our beloved Instagram fell victim to a change that a majority of their users weren’t too happy about. Before the update, Instagram’s algorithm consisted of seeing posts in chronological order. In an effort to help users see content more relevant to them, creators decided to switch up the algorithm changing the news feed to prioritize posts from people whose content they enjoy, people they talk to or message directly, people they search for and people they know in real life.
With this new algorithm, many have expressed their disapproval by reaching out to the app creators and petitioning to change it back. Although it’s obvious the majority of users are reluctant to embrace the change, the ones affected the most are brands and influencers. Their main argument from social media changes was that their audience and followers weren’t seeing all their content the same way anymore. As the old saying goes, “if you can’t beat them, join them;” and that’s essentially what these brands and influencers have done – they found a way to make their content and profile even more relevant than before.
The key is follower engagement. If followers were to comment on a post, a simple “like” or a comment back goes a long way. If a brand were to also comment on other user’s posts, this can increase their visibility. Although the idea seemed redundant since Snapchat came out with it first, brands and influencers have also taken advantage of Instagram “stories.” If companies are worried that their followers aren’t seeing all their posts anymore, they can use their stories to boost their content. Even if posts disappear or don’t always show up, stories will appear at the top of the home feed for 24 hours. Followers can easily click on their story to see what’s happening and that will eventually lead them to their profile to seek more information.
The more a brand engages with their followers the more their posts will become “relevant” enough to appear on more Instagram feeds and therefore reach a larger audience. Even though a lot of us still dislike the new system, we have to look at it in a different light and realize that this could possibly be a slight change for the better. Since the change, I’ve noticed a lot more companies and influencers actually engaging with users and finding creative ways to reach their fans. Brands are now building better relationships with their customers and learning that audience engagement is a huge factor in their success in today’s social media world.
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